The Purpose Of Signs And Miracles

There is much misunderstanding in the religious world regarding the purpose of signs and miracles. Many people, especially many denominational preachers, claim to have the power to perform miracles today, especially the power to heal the sick, though very few, if any, claim to be able to raise the dead. During the long period of time that I have preached the gospel, I have had numerous public debates with preachers who claimed to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to perform all of the signs and miracles that Jesus and His Apostles performed. They would tell of the great "healing services" they had held in some distant state, and how multitudes were healed. I have an outstanding offer which I have made to everyone of these preachers whom I have debated, and which is also offered to anyone who claims to have the power that the Apostles had. Here is the offer: "Go with me to the cemetery and raise a dead person, and every time you raise one I will raise one."

In sixty three years of preaching and debating, I have never had ONE preacher to even come close to accepting this offer, yet they claim to have the power that the Apostles had! Christ and the Apostles could (and did) raise the dead just as easily as they healed the sick. These so called "faith healers" today claim great success in their "healing services" but I have never been able to get any of them to even try to raise the dead, nor to drink deadly poison. They are not Faith healers at all. They are "fake healers". I recently received a letter from a brother who is now about fifty years old, and he said what he remembered most about me was that he heard me in a debate with a Pentecostal preacher when he was a boy of sixteen, when I was trying to get this preacher to drink from a bottle that I had labeled "POISON". I could not get this preacher to even touch it, much less drink it. He claimed to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and could do everything that the Lord said the Apostles could do, but he would not go near that bottle. All he would do was tell the audience, "Ballard is trying to poison me". I never even told him it was poison. I simply put a poison label on the bottle. At the end of my last speech on the last night of the debate, I picked up the bottle and drank it's contents. The contents was red food coloring!! This brother that wrote me said this convinced him that this preacher was a fake, even though he was a lad of only sixteen years. If a sixteen year old boy can see through the false claims of these "fake healers" anyone else should be able to do so, unless they are looking the other way!!

Now, I have taken quite a little excursion to introduce this subject, but I have done it as quickly as possible; So we come now to see what the Bibles teaches on the subject of signs and miracles. The first thing we need to understand is that there were no "miracle services" or "healing services" ever performed by Christ, the Apostles, or the church. Second, no miracle was ever performed to primarily benefit any individual. True, any person healed by a miracle benefited, but that was not the primary purpose. Remember that when the Apostles went forth preaching the gospel the Bible says, "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." (Mark 16: 20)

To confirm is simply to prove or verify. John 20: 30-31 says, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name". Thus, John plainly tells us that the signs performed by the Lord was for the purpose of proving that he was the Son of God.

The Hebrew writer in chapter 2: 2-4 tells us that the great salvation first spoken by the Lord was confirmed by the signs, wonders, and miracles performed by inspired men. He says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will?" Therefore, these signs and miracles was for the purpose of confirming the word, and once that word was confirmed and committed to written form these miracles, signs and special gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased just as Paul said they would in 1Corinthians Chapter 13.

Go to lesson Seven
Signs And Miracles Ceased (1)